Certifier : 
SAI Global
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
05 Mar 2015
Certificate expires : 
13 Jan 2021

About

The American lobster is distributed from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Newfoundland to the Strait of Belle Isle that separates Labrador and Newfoundland. It inhabits areas from the water line out to the edge of the continental shelf.

This fishery operates on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, along the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It incorporates 163 licence holders – all of the current commercial lobster harvesters in the area.

Lobster is harvested using baited traps set on the sea bed. Trap dimensions and design have changed and evolved through time and the arrival of hydraulic haulers on fishing vessels has allowed the use of larger traps. However, the majority of traps currently in use are still under the maximum allowable dimensions. Since 1994, traps must be equipped with escape vents that serve to reduce the retention of undersized lobster and non-target species.

The Gaspésie fishery typically operates in the spring for up to 71 days, depending upon location, and uses baited traps to catch lobster. Conservation measures include restrictions on the length of season, the number of licences and the number and size of traps, in addition to minimum and maximum legal sizes, escape vents and biodegradable clips.

Gaspésie lobster image © Gaspésie lobster fishery/Steven Melanson Photographie